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A Chosen People, a Promised LandMormonism and Race in Hawai'i$
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Hokulani K. Aikau

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816674619

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816674619.001.0001

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Mormonism, Race, and Lineage: The Making of a Chosen People

Mormonism, Race, and Lineage: The Making of a Chosen People

(p.31) 1 Mormonism, Race, and Lineage: The Making of a Chosen People
A Chosen People, a Promised Land

Hokulani K. Aikau

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter provides a historical background on how in the nineteenth-century Hawaiians came to be incorporated into the larger cosmology of the Mormon Church through notions of lineage. In the 1850s the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, drawing upon dominant notions of race and worthiness, began to redraw the boundaries between those souls they deemed chosen and those who were not. Hawaiians were positioned as chosen peoples connected to Israelite lineage and thus were desirable religious subjects. The chapter examines the development of a chosen people against a backdrop of the racialized logic of the 1850s. It considers three mechanisms for the making of a chosen people: racial discourses, ideologies of lineage, and invention of religious customs and practices.

Keywords:   Hawaiians, chosen people, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormons, race, racialization, racial discourse, lineage, religious customs, religious practices

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